Michael Blome-Tillmann

McGill Philosophy



My primary area of research is the semantics of knowledge attributions, located at the interface between epistemology and the philosophy of language. I have recently published a monograph (Knowledge and Presuppositions) in which I explicate my views on epistemic contextualism and propose a novel account that resolves a number of pertinent problems that have attracted much attention in the recent literature.

My current work in this area is on a new monograph, provisionally entitled The Semantics of Knowledge Attributions (under contract with Oxford University Press). This second monograph will be the first comprehensive and book-length examination of the debate on knowledge attributions and will provide a critical overview and discussion of the literature on views such as epistemic contextualism, epistemic impurism (subject-sensitive invariantism; interest-relative invariantism), epistemic relativism, and strict invariantism. The Semantics of Knowledge Attributions will supplement Knowledge and Presuppositions, and taken together the two books will provide a comprehensive picture of my views in the area.

Besides my work on the semantics of knowledge attributions, I am interested in a variety of puzzles arising in the area of epistemology, broadly construed. In the past I have worked on topics such as reliabilism, closure, safety, Moorean reasoning, dogmatism, epistemic entitlement, relevant alternatives theory, counter-closure, inferential reasoning from falsehood, scepticism, and the analyzability of knowledge. Currently I am interested in epistemic blamelessness and epistemic rationality, exploring these notions from the point of view of a knowledge-first approach to epistemology. New draft papers on these topics will be available for download in my publications section soon.

Philosophy of Language

While most of my research in epistemology overlaps to a significant degree with topics in the philosophy of language, I am also working on issues that are more traditionally construed as topics in philosophical linguistics or the philosophy of language. At the moment I am focusing on the Gricean notion of conversational and conventional implicature and on the semantics of definite descriptions (defending a Russellian approach to definite descriptions that combines Russellianism with aspects of a broadly Fregean presuppositional account).

Further Projects

I am interested in the notion of evidence in legal contexts and recently started work on the role of statistical evidence in courts of law and a number of related puzzles at the interface between epistemology and legal theory.